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NGV Methane Emission Study Much Anticipated

Before the end of the year, a study of methane emissions in the natural gas vehicle (NGV) sector is expected to be released with the prospect of helping make or break the future of natural gas use in vehicular and other transportation.

As part of up to 16 separate studies -- not all national -- the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), along with industry, think tank and university collaboration, enlisted the University of West Virginia's (UWVa) Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines and Emissions, and the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) to quantify the volumes of methane emissions attributable to operating NGV fleets and passenger cars on compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas.

A UWVa spokesperson told NGI the study should be released late this year or early in 2016.

UWVa has been conducting sampling and establishing a database, focusing on emissions from NGV fueling stations, fueling events and from the vehicles themselves. In separate EDF-sponsored studies on major segments of the natural gas supply chain, the group has stressed that reducing emissions throughout the industry is the only way that NGVs will grow and thrive, particularly among heavy-duty vehicle fleets (see Daily GPIMay 20).

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is expected to emphasize how his state is building the infrastructure for NGVs as part of a "vision for the responsible use of Colorado's significant natural gas resources" when he addresses NGVAmerica's 2015 North American NGV Conference and Expo in Denver Tuesday. NGVAmerica said there will be 80 exhibitors and more than 800 attendees this year.

Meanwhile, a UK-based company with a presence in San Diego, Vayon Group, has acquired dual-fuel system pioneer Clean Air Power (CAP). Vayon specializes in low-carbon propulsion technologies and earlier this year acquired UK-based dual-fuel engine systems developer Hardstaff Dual Fuel Technologies.

Vayon officials said CAP will provide skills, technology and market reach that is complementary to those of Hardstaff. Vayon intends to integrate the two acquired companies.

In the U.S. fueling infrastructure arena, new CNG stations were opened in Houston and South Carolina. VNG Co. opened its second CNG outlet in Houston as part of the Circle K brand stores. In Anderson, SC, utility Piedmont Natural Gas Co. has opened a public access CNG station.

Piedmont's station in Anderson is the first in that town, and it is the 10th CNG station developed in the Carolinas and Tennessee by the local utility. The Houston station is part of VNG's initiative to develop public access CNG stations in major U.S. markets.

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